Talbot Balsam
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Talbot Balsam
A Native Photo: Shrishail Kulloli
Common name: Talbot Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens talbotii    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Talbot Balsam is an annual herb 20-30 cm tall, hairless or stems and leaves velvet-hairy. It is named for William Henry Fox Talbot, a 19th century British pioneer in modern photography and plant collector. Flowers are borne singly in leaf-axils, 2-2.5 cm across, pink; flower-stalks up to 1.2 cm long. Lateral sepals are ovate or subulate, 3-6 mm long. Lip is boat-shaped, about 1 cm long; spur slender, incurved when young, straight at length, 2-3 cm long. Standard is round, concave, 0.6-1 cm across, keeled on dorsal side. Wings are stalkless, bilobed, about 1.2 cm long; basal lobes nearly quadrate, bilobulate; distal lobes inserted into spur. Leaves are alternate, ovate-elliptic or ovate-oblong, tapering at both ends, serrulate, 6 - 10 cm long, membranous; leaf-stalks up to 1.3 cm long, glandular. Capsules are 0.8-1.2 cm long, few-seeded; seeds nearly spherical, compressed, 3-4 mm long, rugose, hairless or papillose. Talbot Balsam is endemic to W. Ghats, found in moist and shady places in Maharashtra and Karnataka (Shimoga distt).

Identification credit: Shrishail Kulloli Photographed in Kerala.

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